If you follow some of the Taiwanese or Hong Kong blogs, you might have read about how some of them describe ISAAC TOAST like this,
‘Don’t tell people you’ve been to Seoul if you haven’t tried Isaac Toast.’
Of course, this is quite an exaggeration, but it tells of the popularity this Korean chain of sandwich shops perfectly.
The Story of Isaac Toast & Coffee [이삭 토스트 & 커피]
It all began 1995, when an elderly Korean woman had to resort to selling sandwiches to meet ends meet when her husband was diagnosed with a serious illness. She started with a small street food stall outside one of the universities in Seoul.
It subsequently changed hands and a couple continued to operate the business with the founder’s method of preparing and making the toasts as well as the recipes. It was wildly popular not just because it’s great value for money, but also that the toast was out-of-this-world yummylicious! Isaac Toast started its franchising journey from 2003 and now boasts of some 700(!) outlets! Apparently, it can also be found outside of Korea! We heard they’re also in LA and HONG KONG. Anyone knows where else?
What’s So Special about Isaac Toast?
Firstly, all the sandwiches are freshly grilled and made. Secondly, many of its ingredients, like the bread, ham and patties are with their very own secret sauce! And apparently, they have this special sweet honey sauce thingamajig that is sooooo…. heavenly-good! Yeap, ownself made ownself sell (Hehe, inside joke with fellow Singaporeans)! Thirdly, you’ll be spoilt for choice! Yes, there are many different toast fillings to choose from.
The Isaac way of preparing the toast is also very special. They sort of fry the bread with butter instead of toasting or grilling it. Depending on what filling you’ve ordered, but the end result is also a highly satisfying and filling brekky or snack!
Check Out the Menu
First things first, the toast. If you’re having Isaac Toast for breakfast, the price of your morning happiness varies, depending on the filling. But they’re very very pocket-friendly, ranging from S$2.50 to no more than $5 (2,200 to 3,200 KRW)!
No wonder it’s a hit with both locals and foreigners!
The simple ham and cheese is quite popular, so is the very special bulgogi MVP (beef). Most Isaac Toast shops are for take-out, there’re only a handful that offers dine-in service. Don’t be scared off if you see a queue, it clears pretty fast.
Of course, they have drinks too, from coffee and tea to juices and others… yes, even cold drinks if you’re visiting Korea in the hot summer months.
Talking about summer, Isaac Toast also has the seasonal item, patbingsu, during the hotter months! ‘Pat‘ means red bean in Korean, and ‘bing‘ means ice and ‘su‘ is water. It’s a perennially popular summer dessert for Koreans to have bingsu when the weather gets hot.
Where Can You Find Isaac Toast?
With so many outlets dotted all over Seoul, you just have to open your eyes to spot the familiar red-and-white logo. They’re in Myeongdong, Hongdae, Edae, etc. In fact, as far as we know, there are two in Myeongdong and two in Hongdae!
Isaac Toast @ Myeongdong
– Myeongdong subway station; Exit 2 or 3
Walk towards the left of Pacific Hotel and you’ll see the take-out shop.
– Myeongdong subway station, Exit 5
Walk along the main road, you will pass Loisir Hotel, and then Days Hotel, and you should see the take-out shop.
Isaac Toast @ Hongdae
– Hongdae subway station; Exit 4
Refer to map from CACAMAZING, which is a fab resource! This outlet is a take-out shop.
– Hongdae subway station, Exit 8 or 9
This outlet is near the HONGDAE FREE MARKET, and it’s opposite Hongik University (Hongdae). Exit 9 is slightly nearer to the shop, but Exit 8 has got escalator. To us, the choice’s pretty obvious, hehe! Refer to map from CACAMAZING. The operating hours for this shop are slightly friendlier than the take-out shops. Weekdays 8am – 11pm, weekends 10am – 10pm.
What About Operating Hours?
We cannot be sure that all the take-out shops operate with the same hours, but they should be open at around 8am. Some shops say they close at 8pm, but to be honest, we don’t remember seeing any Isaac Toast shops open when the skies have turned dark. So, you know what to do, earlier is better than later ^^